Congress won’t consider any coronavirus relief until September, and the streamlined package won’t likely include agriculture.
Senate Republicans indicate they plan to introduce a “skinny” bill next month, according to the Hagstrom Report. The Senate returns to session on September 8, and the House has scheduled to return for committee meetings on September 8, with the full House returning to session September 14.
The delay sets up speculation the general coronavirus aid may be included in spending bills Congress must pass by September 30, the end of the current fiscal year. Congress must also pass the spending bills to avoid a government shutdown. Many in agriculture agree more aid is needed for farmers and ranchers facing losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The failed HEALS Act in the Senate would have provided an additional $20 billion for agriculture. The CARES Act included $14 billion for agriculture, and the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program includes $16 billion for agriculture.